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Though Aamir Khan tried to play peacemaker, Resul Pookutty is at war with a multiplex for botching up the screening of Rajni’s hit
It’s ironic that at a screening of Robot, of all things, the machines failed to work. Rajnikanth’s power show for his film at a suburban multiplex was full of glitches. And the sound editor of the film, Resul Pookutty, was certainly not amused.
Dissatisfied with the sound quality three hours prior to the show, Resul had voiced his discomfort too. But apparently, the theatre officials paid no heed and started the show. Sure enough, the sound crashed in the second half of the film, which had to be stalled as a result for over 30 minutes. Pookutty was livid with the organisers and only on Aamir Khan’s insistence was he pacified.
He felt that what happened on Monday night was unfortunate and symptomatic of how theatre owners are lackadaisical about the technical finesse involved in screening films. Said Pookutty, “We had a show for the biggest people in the industry but the sound quality was so inferior. I spent 45 days to design the sound of the film and this is the result we got. If this happens in the presence of the cream of the industry what must the common man be going through? This is like Husain making a classic painting and somebody throwing ink all over it.”
Pookutty feels that theatre owners are only interested in making their money and nothing else. “All our hard work goes down the drain. I hope that the government makes certain guidelines for the exhibition sector of our film industry, or else their licenses should be cancelled. I believe that every viewer who spends money to watch a film should get the best and nothing less than that. The Robot show was a blatant example of the entire system and the problems in it.”
Aamir Khan played truce-maker and the film was thus screened after this forced interval. Pookutty added, “I had predicated that something would go wrong. The sound was blown up and then we had to do a lot of damage control. We apologised to the invitees.”
For justice in the wake of this humiliation, Pookutty has drafted a letter to the Indian Motion Pictures and Producers’ Association. “I hope that the association, which is also aware of this, does something about it. I feel angry and humiliated at what is happening and I will continue my struggle to get these things sorted out,” he concluded.
Resul Pookutty to file RTI against multiplexes for poor sound & picture quality
By Subhash K. Jha, October 6, 2010 – 10:59 IST
On Monday evening, Rajinikanth’s warm and unparalleled gesture of bringing Robot to Mumbai personally for a special screening before his Bollywood friends, culminated in a horrendous mess with the sound being completely disrupted in the 7th reel, leading to a long and embarrassing and unscheduled break just before the crucial climax of the film.
The screening, it might be mentioned was, was leading man Rajinikanth and director Shankar’s belated but critical attempt to familiarize Bollywood’s who’s-who with Robot which had already swept the nation. Its disruption has hurt the film’s crew in both emotional and more practical ways.
And now heads will roll. The team behind Robot plans to sue the chain of theatres and also approach the government to specify quality-control methods to check sound systems in the multiplexes of Mumbai.
Speaking about the evening’s nightmarish, fiasco Robot’s bitterly disappointed enraged and now redressal-seeking sound designer Resul Pookutty says, “From the start of the screening I knew there was something seriously wrong. Then I came to know three sets of speakers were not working. I was so upset that I immediately wanted to stop the screening. But Aamir Khan pacified me, explaining it would look very improper in front of all these stalwarts to stop the show.”
Then Resul’s worst fears came true. “After seven reels with 40 minutes of playing-time to go, the sound collapsed completely. It was a nightmare. When finally the screening was restored the sound was worst than before. It was one of the most humiliating evenings of my life. I haven’t slept the whole night. And now I won’t sleep until I receive justice on behalf of all the technicians of Indian cinema, not to mention the average patron who is not aware of the deplorable standards of sound and projection provided by almost all the multiplex chains in Mumbai.”
The disappointment and sense of betrayal is so enormous that Resul chokes with emotion while talking. “We (the Robot core crew) had decided on the show after seeing the impact it had made in the South. Down there I have fought a relentless battle to change the sound quality in theatres. And now patrons in the South are so conscious of their rights to get optimum-quality sound and visual value that in Kerala, audiences broke seats and disrupted screenings at theatres with sub-standard technical value.”
Resul wants to create the same value-awareness among audiences in Mumbai, and a critical step ahead in his fight against sub-standard projection and sound in Mumbai’s multiplexes is an RTI being filed before the government.
Says Resul, “After that evening’s experience I have already approached the IMPPA (Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association) on behalf of the sound association of the Indian film industry. I’m next filing an RTI (Right To Information) with the government seeking to know what are the yardsticks applied before multiplexes are granted licences for operation. Are sound and projection quality a part of the licensing checks?”
Resul won’t sit easy until the matter is resolved. “After Slumdog Millionaire and the national and international awards, I at least have voice about sound in our movie theatres. While in South India the sound-quality in theatres has been drastically upgraded, in the North I am sorry to say theatres continue to use an inferior technical infrastructure. Sometimes smuggled machines are employed. I’ve often bribed projectionists to do their jobs better. During Black, Sanjay Bhansali and I went personally from theatre to theatre to check the sound. What we discovered was shocking. Does the average patron who pays Rs.150 for a ticket know how he’s being cheated? This is why I’m filing an RTI with the government.”
Legal action against the multiplex chain that was behind the Robot team’s shame on Monday evening is also being taken.
Says Resul, “We were already fighting an intense battle against the quality of visuals and sound provided by the multiplexes. After being so humiliated and shamed in front of the film industry on Monday evening, it’s an all-out battle for our rights and the rights of the cinema-going audience. Actually what happened on Monday evening was a shame not just for the Robot team but the entire Indian movie industry.”
BOMBAY TIMES (October 8, 2010)
Movies echo real life and Crook: It’s Good to be Bad is one such movie that takes a realistic look at a burning topic, that of racial discrimination against Indians. The movie, produced by Vishesh Films and directed by Mohit Suri has Emraan Hashmi and newcomer
Neha Sharma in the lead roles. It tells the story of Jai, a youngster who has a knack of getting into trouble, who lands up in Australia. Despite being in a new country with a new identity and attempting to lead a decent life, trouble seems to follow him. Jai’s troubles begin when he witnesses a racial assault on his love interest, Suhani’s brother, Samarth. Going to the police would mean an investigation while walking away would mean losing Suhani. The only way to deal with the issue at hand is to take the bull by its horns. But Jai has to first figure whether it’s good to be bad or it is good to be good.
“This is one of the best characters created in recent times. I am sure it will reach into the collective heart and pluck the heartstrings of people of every generation,” Emraan says about his role.
Talking about his inspiration, Mohit says, “As the news flashed ‘Over 20 incidents of curry bashing in Sydney and Melbourne in the past 30 days’, I found myself standing outside a 24-hour convenience store in Melbourne city. It was this very store that had experienced one of the most brutal racist attacks just a few months back. An Indian was beaten up because of his colour and religion. As I left the store my eyes fell upon an advertisement on the window reading ‘Accommodation available for Indian students — for Gujrati boys only’. This made me realise that racism is a part of every human heart. Good and bad, God and evil lie within us, it’s our choice to decide whether it’s good to be bad in or does it pay to be good. I felt the need to voice this as a filmmaker. ”
Watch out for Crook: It’s Good to be Bad which hits theatres on October 8.
… for son Owais Husain’s film premiere in Dubai or Qatar
Prithwish Ganguly | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 6, 2010)
MF Husain is planning to host a lavish premiere for his son Owais Husain’s debut feature film either in Dubai or Qatar — the country from which he has recently accepted citizenship. The most interesting thing about this development is that the master painter will invite Madhuri Dixit, his earlier muse who he painted as a series, to be the guest of honour at a closed door screening where only his friends from across the world will be invited.
Even though MF cannot risk coming back to India where his son has shot the movie and is also looking to have a premiere, the 95-year-old legend is leaving no stone unturned to celebrate the moment. He would have loved to have held a screening Mumbai, but after he left the country under fire from right wing Hindu activists for his nude paintings of goddesses, he is not sure whether he should do anything in India that would affect his son’s film. This is why he is planning to host a private premiere of the film.
Though MF is looking to avoid from associating with his son’s project so that Owais doesn’t get stress from the radicals who are still up against him even after his self-imposed exile since 2006, he has been involved with the project. “Owais had worked on his father’s films including Gaja Gamini and Meenaxi — A Tale of 3 Cities. So, when he decided to graduate into a feature film director, MF was naturally delighted. Owais idolises his father and has kept him in the loop always about the project. From direction tips to screenplay to minute things important for the film, MF has always been consulted by his son.
Ajay Devgn and Akshaye Khanna combine forces again!
Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; October 6, 2010)
Ajay Devgn and Akshaye Khanna have proved to be a lethal combination in the past. Their last outing Deewangee hit the bullseye. On October 15 these two actors will share screen space in Big Screen Entertainer’s Aakrosh is an investigative thriller on honour killings.
Ajay and Akshaye share a healthy work relationship; in fact the reclusive Akshaye even confesses to being very fond of his screen partner. He says, “In Aakrosh Ajay and I are playing CBI officers sent to investigate a missing person’s case, which snowballs and becomes into a much bigger case. The film throws us into the life of a small town in India. And we get embroiled in the small town politics and its policing. We get caught in the web of issues of caste and religion. And of course we end up solving the case.”
Ajay says, “Aakrosh is done in an entertaining gripping way. it is not a boring social message kind of film. It’s an action drama.” Akshaye feels, unfortunately in our country honour killings have taken on huge proportions. “I have met activists who say that we should remove the word honur from these killings because there is no honour in this brutal reality,” says Akshaye. Both actors feel that the government statistics that say that almost 2,000 lives are lost each year to honour killings is very disturbing. Says Akshaye, “We know this is happening around us. Yet we as a collective society are so indifferent to social evils. We don’t bat an eyelid when we see beggars on the street. We do not react when we hear that 200 CRPF guys are gunned by rebels, or when a politician steals INR 2,000 crore from the country. We have become so thick-skinned, we have almost stopped reacting. We just treat everything as another headline in the newspaper… and continue with our daily lives.”
The star son feels that films like Aakrosh can create and change opinions. “Such films can be a wake-up call for a nation that is falling into a bottomless pit,” he says.
Besides making a memorable film, the two actors who shot together after nearly eight years say that they loved the time they spent on the outdoor. Says Akshaye, “I enjoyed working with Ajay on Deewangee. But this time I enjoyed working with him even more.” They laugh because during the long outdoor shoots of the film, they were stuck in a godforsaken town with no cell phones and other distractions. Ajay says, “I respect Akshaye as an actor; and I also enjoy his company.” Akshaye adds, “Well Ajay is a wonderful person and I like the personal equation we have.”
- By Taran Adarsh, October 4, 2010 – 16:43 IST
The film collected approx. Rs. 3.6 cr. nett in its opening weekend. The breakup is as follows:- Fri: Rs. 75 lacs [incl. Thu. Previews], Sat: 1.35 cr. and Sun: 1.48 cr. Mumbai and Gujarat have been outperforming since Day 1 and now the other markets have followed suit. Saturday was almost double of Friday and Sunday has recorded a 10% growth over Saturday.
-By Taran Adarsh, October 1, 2010 – 15:50 IST
Eros and producer Sajid Nadiadwala are expected to book good profits with ANJAANA ANJAANI. The economics of the film is as follows:-
|Cost of production:||Rs. 38 cr.|
|+ P & A:||Rs. 6 cr. to Rs. 7 cr.|
|Total investment on the project:||Rs. 45 cr.|
|Satellite Rights:||Rs. 22 cr.|
|Music Rights:||Rs. 8 cr.|
|Money received from sale of various territories,
other than Mumbai, Delhi-U.P., Punjab,
Overseas and Home Video:
|Rs. 13 cr.|
|Money recovered so far:||Rs. 43 cr.|
Eros is distributing the film in Mumbai, Delhi-U.P., Punjab and Overseas and the revenue generated from these territories, besides Home Video, will add to the profits of the film. The above chart clearly indicates that at least 50% of the receovery has been from sale of Satellite Rights itself.
By Taran Adarsh, October 5, 2010 – 08:38 IST
There’s a strong possibility that JHOOTHA HI SAHI may be postponed by one week. Slated for release next week [15 October], the film may now arrive on 22 October because music composer A.R. Rahman is yet to complete recording the background score of the film. Producer Madhu Mantena doesn’t rule out the possibility. “Yes, the film may get shifted to next week. It’s true that Rahman hasn’t completed recording the background score. Also, with two major films clashing on 15 October [AAKROSH, KNOCK OUT], there’s no point releasing on that date. Besides, the music of JHOOTHA HI SAHI is picking up and if we shift the film ahead by one week, it will only help the music to grow further,” Mantena states.
If JHOOTHA HI SAHI is shifted to latter date, Madhu Mantena will hold the distinction of releasing four films on a single Friday – JHOOTHA HI SAHI and the three versions of RAKHT CHARITRA [Hindi, Tamil and Telugu].
By Taran Adarsh, October 5, 2010 – 08:40 IST
Star kids are embraced warmly by the film industry. The new star kid on the block is Tanuj Virwani, son of actress Rati Agnihotri. Reportedly, the youngster assisted a number of directors in the past and is being groomed to be an actor. “That’s true,” Rati confirms, “Tanuj has assisted Ken Ghosh [CHANCE PE DANCE] and Glen Barretto [AAO WISH KAREIN]. He’s even written, directed, scripted, edited and acted in three short films.”
Tanuj polished his acting skills from Kishore Namit Kapoor and he made three short films in case film-makers want to see how he looks on screen and also acts. “Each short film is of 15-20 minutes duration,” Tanuj reveals. The youngster adds that he’s not looking for a conventional launch. “There have been offers, but I don’t want to take rash decisions. The script has to be good, that’s more important,” he states.
Look forward to Tanuj take his first step as a lead man.
By Subhash K. Jha, October 5, 2010 – 11:21 IST
The shocking shenanigans of conman Devender Singh, alias Bunty, on the new season of Bigg Boss, comes as no shock to director Dibakar Banerjee who has made a film based on Bunty’s life.
Dibakar feels something was not quite right with Bunty. “I met him in jail for the film very briefly. I couldn’t make head or tail of his behaviour. Later, the jail authorities told me he had a problem with authority.”
Dibakar wonders if the whole thing with Bunty is a publicity stunt. However, a reliable source from the channel confirms that Bunty has been sent packing for good. “There’s no question of his coming back. He has abused and violated the basic rules of the show. He abused the girls and broke the mike and camera. We had to persuade him out of the Bigg Boss house. We offered to send him back home to Delhi. But he refused to take our offer. As far as we are concerned, he’s out of show for good.”
The other school of thought is that Bunty was brought into the Bigg Boss’ house as in-house counterpart to the host Salman Khan.
In the wake of Rajni’s blockbuster, King Khan called for a day-long meeting with the RA.One team, deciding to make it the first-ever interactive gaming flick
The spectacular success of Rajnikanth’s Robot has made Shah Rukh Khan and his team of RA.One sit up and become doubly alert about their pet project.
An SOS meeting was summoned at Mannat on Sunday. Those present at the meeting included director Anubhav Sinha, sound recordist Resul Pookutty and producer Shah Rukh.
After viewing the rushes, a number of vital strategic ideas were devised, following a heated debate, after which everyone let their hair down at a Bandra bar. The most startling resolution during the day-long meeting was to convert RA.One into a full-fledged gaming movie. Sound designer Resul Pookutty says, “The challenge with RA.One is to create a balance between the two distinctly different worlds of gaming and movies.
We met at Shah Rukh’s home on Sunday and watched the film. And yes, we’ve come up with a number of strategies to make RA.One different from all other super-hero films.”
Says a source, “The climax of the film will actually allow audiences to play the RA.One game in theatres as they watch the film. This kind of participative cinema has never been done before in any part of the world.” We can’t wait to push the right buttons.
It has also been decided that a super-hero film without the drama and emotions won’t appeal to Indian audiences. Says the source, “Shah Rukh feels Robot worked so well because it combines special effects with emotions and drama. In RA.One he wants the spectacle and the emotions in equal measures.” Shah Rukh has invited Martin Walsh, the editor of Rob Marshal’s musical feature film Chicago, to edit RA.One. Says the source, “The choice was between the editor of Avatar and Chicago. Shah Rukh has chosen the latter because he feels Chicago is closer to the pulse of a Bollywood drama than Avatar.”
RA.One is 80 per cent complete. The remaining 20 per cent would be completed only when Shah Rukh is sure that James Cameron’s Avatar and not Shankar’s Robot is given a run for its money. Beep, beep. Game Over.
|A still from RA.One|